Salmon ID Flowchart

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by plaegreid, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. plaegreid

    plaegreid Saved by the buoyancy of citrus

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    So my girlfriend's brother in law is a Navy boy from Oklahoma who got stationed out here earlier this spring. He wants to start fishing for salmon in the saltwater (he's a gear only guy; I'm workin' on that), but he is worried about bonking the wrong kind of salmon. I showed him the regs with the pictures and descriptions and whatnot, but he's still a bit hesitant. Since I can't run out to fish with him that often (he's on Whidbey, I'm in Renton) I figured what the heck, why not make an ID flowchart? So I'm in that process, but I want to run it past some people with more salmon experience (read: y'all) than me before I get too far into it, so if you would kindly take a moment and let me know if this is out and out or pretty ok, I would greatly appreciate it. :D

    Don't worry about it being fugly, by the way, that will get fixed once I know the info on the flow is right!

    Salmon ID flowchart.jpg
     
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  2. Jordy Jordan

    Jordy Jordan Panama Red

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    I just moved out here from Oklahoma as well... let me know if you need some help convincing him to drop the gear.
     
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  3. Jason Rolfe

    Jason Rolfe Wanderer

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    That's a pretty great chart, nice work. Seems to make perfect sense to me, but there might be some folks with a bit more experience who might have some more nitpicky thoughts on it. I know things aren't always as cut and dry as we'd like them to be.

    In any case, I like it. Nice and simple, and maybe even easier to deal with than pictures of the different species which can be difficult to match up at times.

    J
     
  4. jwg

    jwg Active Member

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    So I got no response when I asked about what key characteristics to look for with regard to salmon species, in a thread called Salmon ID
    http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/forum/index.php?threads/salmon-id.91401/#post-855991

    The idea of a dichotomous key is a good one.

    I would organize by what is most obvious first. When you get to a specific salmon, I would add additional features to check.

    For me the first obvious thing is does it have large oblong spots top and bottom of tail, and hence is a pink.

    Yes: Pink Confirmation. No silver on tail, white mouth with black gum line.

    No: next question:
    spots on back and tail and silver pigment on tail
    YES (Coho or Chinook)
    spots on top and bottom of tail, yes, chinook, confirmation, black mouth and gum line
    no, coho, spots are on top of tail, confirmation, white mouth and gum line

    NO, no prominent spots back and tail, small speckles may be present (chum or sockeye, both have white mouth and white gum line and dark tongue)
    next question for the NO answer
    Silver pigment on tail yes, chum, confirmation large scales, tail base is tender
    no, sockeye, confirmation, average scales, prominent gold eyes

    I'm not from the west side, I would still be curious to know what key features that frequent fishers of the sound use as their guide.

    I can see the logic of the guide as the OP arranged it.

    jay
     
  5. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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  6. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    A problem with the WDFW identification chart is that most of the photos are of salmon in their spawning coloration. The coho, for instance, looks nothing at all like a typical saltwater-caught coho. Could you identify this sea-run cutthroat based on the picture of the small resident cutthroat on the chart? DSCF0148.JPG
     
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  7. typhoon

    typhoon I fish

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  8. jwg

    jwg Active Member

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    Thanks I like those pictures of the tail and mouth much better than the fish images in the regs booklet

    Jay
     
  9. CLO

    CLO Future WFF Mod

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    Steelhead have spots on their tail and are not pinks or coho.
     
  10. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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  11. fish-on

    fish-on Waters haunt me....

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    DSCF0148.JPG


    Note to self:

    Close mouth, wipe drool...
     
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  12. plaegreid

    plaegreid Saved by the buoyancy of citrus

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    I actually did these things, holy crow.

    #necropost #dealwithit

    The printable/useful version:

    [​IMG]

    The Pretty version:

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. CLO

    CLO Future WFF Mod

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    Great work, but like I said you should throw steelhead on list. Or even put a separate flow for bull trout and searuns
     
  14. plaegreid

    plaegreid Saved by the buoyancy of citrus

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    I'm working on a "Not a salmon" chart as well; its not done yet though, but it will have all of those guys on it
     
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  15. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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    Nice work plaegreid! I wish that all WA anglers would take a few minutes to learn how to identify their fish. Every year I'm amazed by the amount of catch confusion.